“Take a picture” I beg Saathi as I scramble to get out of the house. He looks at the lamp above and declares it will not be a good picture. He takes one anyway and it is bad. I grab my phone, collect my folder, new bag, water bottle and get into the car. I key in the address and look expectantly at the screen for carplay to connect. It doesn’t.
I turn the curve in the rain to find a car speeding in the opposite direction. I swerve just in time. I pull over, collect myself, unplug and plug the phone back in, mutter a prayer and leave. Google Maps tells me I should be at the office at two minutes past 9:00 am.
I hope to make up the time en route but end up being ten minutes late instead. I resign myself to fate and walk into the building on the first day of work, hair frazzled, glasses mottled with rain and late.
The day is predictable. I configure my laptop, walk back and forth to get water, use the restroom, get coffee, eat lunch and ask a hundred questions to my new manager. The drive back home is smoother but just as long, forty minutes without the rain. I talk to Amma as I drive, my voice a ghost in her ears courtesy the car speakerphone.
Past dinnertime, after the kids are in bed, I take a moment to slump in my cozy office chair and realize I did not miss home or the kids. I did not miss my nap. I did miss the otherwise active lifestyle that my time at home provided. I would walk up and down the stairs, around the home. It was sitting in one place that was strange and uncomfortable. I tell myself as my days get busier, I will not notice that much. I also tell myself, I should heed my body and walk around if that is what I am used to.
It is a new beginning, the second inning of sorts. This time around, I am aware of all the things that overwhelmed me the first time around. This time, the children are older, I have help from Amma. Now, all that needs doing is fanning the flames of ambition that is now just an ember in the dark.